Lime Juice: 6 Best Substitutes For Lime Juice That Taste Perfect

From a light, refreshing salad, to the deep flavors of tacos, lime juice is an excellent ingredient for adding that final touch to any meal. 

With a sharp, zesty flavor you can really transform the flavor profile of a dish with a simple squeeze. However, if you or someone at your table at an allergy, you may think your dishes will always be missing that special something. 

That is just not the case!

Below are 6 of the best substitutes for lime juice. Never feel like your dishes are incomplete as each of these lime juice substitutes adds a magnificent burst of flavor. 

Let’s get into it!

Lime Juice 6 Best Substitutes For Lime Juice That Taste Perfect

What Is Lime Juice?

Well, lime juice is simply the juice that comes from the fruit of a lime. And while we all know that, it is important to know the components of lime juice and how it alters the flavors of your dish or beverage. 

When used in a food recipe or to a cocktail, it gives a sharp, acidic taste. It adds a vibrancy that can transform a recipe from bland and simple to bright and refreshing. 

You can easily purchase limes at the store and juice them for fresh lime juice. Or buy a carton of pre-juiced lime juice to keep things simple and quick. 

While lime juice is excellent for adding flavor, it can also become extremely dominant and overpower a lot of your other ingredients. Be careful to not go too overboard with lime juice in your recipes. Especially with drinks and baking!

Selecting The Perfect Lime For Juicing 

When browsing limes at the store or the farmers market, there are a few tips to ensure you select the right lime for juicing. 

If you are wanting the most juice ensure to pick limes that are:

  • Soft to the touch. Limes that are hard or solid are most likely picked too early and won’t harbor a lot of juice yet. Ensure your limes are soft without being overly squishy. 
  • Heavy. Smaller limes that are heavier than they look are going to have more juice than large, light limes. 

Some factors which do not have an impact on the flavor or the amount of juice are:

  • The color. Limes do not have to be all one color in order to get the best flavor. Simply said, a lighter shade of green or even yellow indicates that the fruit received more sun. Rain and wind cause trees, leaves, and other limes to move. Fruit with increased exposure to sunlight will have lighter portions.
  • Scratches. Limes do not have to have the perfect surface. Often trees, twigs, or other limes will hit each other and leave marks on the surface. 

How To Juice A Lime 

Juicing a lime is a rather simple act. The process is similar to juicing an orange or lemon and can be done in a few simple steps. 

  1. Roll your lime on a flat surface a few times to loosen the juice inside. 
  2. Grab a knife and slice it down the middle. 
  3. Now you can either go freehand or grab a juicer. 
  4. Simply grab the closed end of the lime and squeeze until all the juice is either in a bowl or in the recipe. 
  5. If going freehand, ensure to keep your spare hand underneath to catch any seeds that may come loose. 

It is important to remember that once you cut a lime open, it instantly begins to lose its flavor. The lime should be juiced as soon as it is cut open in order to get the most flavor. 

 The 6 Best Substitutes For Lime Juice 

Whether you cannot find any, are allergic or don’t enjoy the sharp flavor, we have 6 of the best substitutes for lime juice!

Orange Juice 

Orange juice is great for adding to dishes or drinks that need a touch of sweetness. Orange juice is often best when freshly squeezed so it can take some time and effort. Or you can always purchase pre-squeezed orange juice from the store. 

It is an excellent source of vitamin C and is great for brightening up a  heavy dish. 

Orange juice works as a great alternative to lime juice as it is still rather sharp in flavor but it isn’t as intense. It works perfectly with a lot of fish recipes or as part of a broth for soups for some added nutrients. 

It’s simple to understand why this adaptable ingredient is so well-liked, whether you’re sipping a glass of orange juice with breakfast or adding it to your favorite dish to make it even better.

Citrus Zest 

The zest of a lime, lemon,  orange, or grapefruit is considered citrus zest. This is the outermost layer of the fruit that can be lightly shaven and used within various cooking recipes and beverages. 

Using citrus zest will provide that powerful punch of flavor that you are looking for without being as overpowering as the juice of the fruit. It is often added to the dish as a garnish at the end of the recipe to get the most flavor. 

When using citrus zest it is important to remember that it is extremely intense in flavor and fragrance. Use it sparingly, to begin with only adding more when needed. 

Grapefruit Juice 

Grapefruit is either loved or hated when it comes to delicious fruit, but its juice is a lot easier to digest and a lot more versatile.

The juice of a grapefruit is tart and slightly sweeter than that of a lime. 

Grapefruit juice is an excellent addition to various cocktail recipes or even marinades and sauces for meats and veggies. The high acidity in the juice allows the meat to become tender and helps enhance its natural flavor.

Perfect if you enjoy keeping your cooking simple yet delicious. 


Vinegar is an additional choice for the same. White wine and apple cider vinegar are the types of vinegar we refer to when we talk about acidity because they share the same acidity as lime juice.

Vinegar is an extremely pungent ingredient and so it is always wise to use half the recommended dose. This allows you to remain in control of the flavor before vinegar dominates the flavor. 

Using white wine or apple cider vinegar will not alter the color of the dish allowing all of the focus to go on the taste!

White Wine 

White wine is a great substitute for lime juice as it is sharp and piercing without being too intense. It does not have the same acidity level as lime juice making it a lot easier to control the impact it will have on your recipe. 

However, it should still be used with caution as it can easily take over the dish and leave a rather sour taste behind. 

If cooking for a crowd, ensure that everyone is comfortable with the use of an alcoholic ingredient. 


Due to its tart flavor, not many people are aware that tamarind may also serve as a fantastic key lime alternative. Salad dressings and marinades benefit greatly from tamarind’s sweet and sour flavor as a substitute for lime juice.

Tamarind is a versatile plant that is often used in Indian cuisine. It is a sweet or sour flavor depending on the ripeness of the fruit and can be either used separately or with other citrus fruits for a bright flavor. 

Selecting The Best Lime Juice Substitute 

Below are some tips to help select the perfect lime juice substitute. 

Know It’s Purpose 

The first and most crucial consideration while looking for the best lime substitute is to be aware of the precise function of lime juice. Without knowing the objective, there is a good chance that one won’t be able to use something appropriately.

Sourness Vs Tanginess

Lime juice is often added to a recipe in order to add a tart and almost sour flavor. The substitute you use is going to have to replicate that flavor intensity.

Citrus zest is extremely sour and is great for final touches while the juice of other citrus fruits will give the same intensity with a slight twist. 

Ask An Expert 

Inquire with the culinary expert about the best lime alternative to using for each recipe. There are replacements for lime juice that are suitable for both savory and sweet dishes.

You don’t want to run your dish by adding too much or too little of the wrong ingredient. 

Final Thoughts 

Whether you are cooking a delicious meal or making a fun cocktail, lime juice is an excellent ingredient for bringing life and character. However, if you don’t enjoy the sharp, intense flavor of lime or simply want to try something different there are plenty of alternatives. 

Above are 6 of the best substitutions for lime juice that are going to complete your recipe and bring that addictive acidity that keeps us coming back for more. 

From oranges to white wine, you can explore the range of flavors that will transform your dishes!

Lime Juice: 6 Best Substitutes For Lime Juice That Taste Perfect

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Orange Juice

  • Citrus Zest

  • Grapefruit Juice

  • Vinegar

  • White Wine

  • Tamarind


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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